Its winds were barely over the 39 mph needed to be classified a Tropical Storm on Friday afternoon, but it is a large system moving slowly over warm Gulf water and is expected to develop more. Tropical storms are given names
when they reach a sustained wind speed of 39 mph. When a storm reaches sustained wind speeds of 74 miles per hour, it officially becomes a hurricane.
Tropical Storm Lee will move slowly toward the Louisiana coast over the next few days, according to an advisory from the Lake Charles office of the National Weather Service. “A large area of tropical showers and thunderstorms associated with Tropical Storm Lee will advance northward into the middle Gulf Coast area through the weekend. This pattern will result in the potential for very heavy rain that could produce flash flooding over the next several days.
A tropical storm warning was placed in effect for St Martin, Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, St. Mary, and Vermilion parishes Friday afternoon. A warning means that tropical storm winds can be expected within the next 24 to 36 hours.
At 1 p.m. Friday, Tropical Storm Lee was centered near 27.4 north, 91,5, west, or about 140 miles south of Morgan City. It was crawling toward the northwest at about 2 mph with steady winds of 40 mph.
“This tropical storm is expected to move slowly and erratically, bringing the possibility of prolonged rainfall,”according to the Lake Charles advisory.